The world's first DSD audiobook

I thought some of you might be interested to know that I recently submitted the first (and only?) DSD audiobook to MusicBrainz. I just learned about the existence of this book yesterday:

A label in California released it a couple of years ago. It’s a production of The Wind in the Willows recorded in DSD 256. Audio CD has a sampling rate of 44.1 KHz; DSD 256 has a sampling rate of 11,289.6 KHz (as well as much, much higher dynamic range). The DSD 256 stereo version of this audiobook is 51.4 GB (~158 MB per minute). The sampling rate is quadruple DSD 64, as used in SACD.

I don’t mention any of this to start an audiophile argument, but because as far as I can tell this thing is totally unique, and the numbers are so astronomical for an audiobook. The label (Yarlung Records) knows this! The founder describes it as “overkill for sure”. They sell it at lower resolutions, too, and in more pedestrian formats like FLAC (with a minimum sampling rate of 96 KHz). Then, of course, there are the pleb versions on Audible etc.

What I find disappointing about it is that it’s little more than a gimmick. I listened to a (low-res) sample, and I found the reading to be wholly unremarkable. The label’s founder narrates it himself. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, but he’s not English, he’s not a professional voice artist, and (imho) the diction and accent are just not a good fit for this book. I found myself asking, “Why would I want to hear this in DSD 256?”

One thing I really like about DSD is that the noise floor sounds almost silent to me. I find that calming. I was hoping to get that effect from an audiobook mastered in DSD—especially a book as comforting as The Wind in the Willows. I think it is there, but the voice needs to be gentle and soothing, too.